New partnership has Ant Financial poised for Asian growth

Digital financial services company Ant Financial has unveiled a global marketing plan while confirming a partnership with a Thai fintech company, its first foray into the country.

Ant Financial will invest an undisclosed sum in Ascend Money, a mobile lifestyle and digital financial services platform aiming to expand in Southeast Asia. Ascend Money will grow its online and offline payment and financial services through access to Ant Financial’s strategic and technical support.

“Imagination, innovation and information are key to realizing Ant Financial’s goal of promoting equal access to financial services on a global platform,” Ant Financial CEO Eric Jing said“As we aim to provide services to over two billion users in ten years, we are building an open ecosystem with our global partners

“The payment market in SE Asia has vast untapped potential and we are dedicated to contributing our share to bring a greater variety of convenient and reliable financial services to small and micro enterprises and individual consumers. Ascend Money, as a leader in Thailand, is best equipped to build an innovative financial ecosystem in the country.” 

Southeast Asia brings plenty of opportunity, Ascend’s CEO said.

“It’s our life purpose to help the underserved, which include digital consumers and the under-banked,” Punnamas Vichitkulwongsa said. “Our goal is to provide innovative financial services to over one hundred million customers and SMEs in Thailand and Southeast Asia by 2020. Our partnership with Ant will help accelerate innovative financial services and platforms, enabling a strong financial services ecosystem.” 

Operating under the TrueMoney payment and Ascend Nano lending brands, Ascend Money is headquartered in Bangkok and operates in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and the Philippines. It provides mobile wallet, domestic and international remittances, bill payment, top-up services, online/offline payments and payroll services with plans to add lending, insurance and investments.